Infused Simple Syrup

Yield: about 1 2/3 cup/ 400 ml

1 cup/ 200g granulated sugar

1 cup/ 8 oz. water

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a bubble over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved. Steep with herbs as desired (further information below). Place syrup in lidded jars and store in the refrigerator.

Syrup inclusions (per 400 ml batch)

  • Lavender syrup: 2 tablespoons/5g organic culinary lavender buds, steep for 5 minutes in hot liquid then sieve to remove lavender buds.
  • Vanilla syrup: 1 vanilla bean, split and scrape vanilla bean, add seeds and steep in hot liquid with pod for 10 minutes, discard pod before using syrup.
  • Mint syrup: 1/2 cup (5-7 sprigs) packed fresh mint leaves, steep for 10 minutes in hot liquid then sieve to remove leaves.
  • Thyme or rosemary syrup: 3-5 stalks of thyme, steep whole stalks with leaves for 5 minutes then sieve to remove stalks and stray leaves.
  • Rose syrup: 2 cups (about 60 large) fragrant, organic rose petals , stir petals into hot liquid, let steep until syrup is cool; sieve to remove petals. If fresh rose petals are out of season, stir in 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of purchased rosewater.

Here's my cheat sheet of lovey-dovey aromatics and their characteristics:

Intoxicating: Rose, lilac, jasmine, honeysuckle, marigold, hibiscus

Refreshing: citrus, bergamot, mint, lavender, rosemary, thyme

Stimulating: peppermint, orange oil, lemon oil, black peppercorn

Stuff you should know! Use organic flowers and herbs, or forage from a trusted landscape. Use only flowers and herbs you can positively identify. 

It's not a bad idea to make friends with your local florist, too - they may be a little more costly to buy from, but they'll have a good source for safe organic roses. The best roses for infusing are the wild-growing variety that are bursting with fragrance in summertime. If you can't find a good source for fresh petals, use a bit of rosewater in the syrup instead.

If you are pregnant, be extremely well-read on herbs and oils before you use them. Some should not be taken during pregnancy. The best safe-guard is to consult your physician.